Australia handle pressure as India come up short – Cricket World Cup uncovered
After seven weeks and 48 games, the 2023 Cricket World Cup is at an end with Australia crowned champions for the sixth time.
Here, the PA news agency looks back at the tournament and the future of the 50-over game.
Over the course of the competition it would be hard to argue against India’s claim to being the best side on show. They were an outstanding unit for 10 straight games leading up to the final, covering seemingly every base. But knockout sport is all about the ability to stand tall when the pressure is on and the stakes are high – something Australia do better than any other team around. With a trophy on the line, they showed the killer instinct.
On a purely sporting level, they met an opponent who turned out better on the day. Beyond that, there must surely be some regret about playing the final on a worn out surface that dragged down the scoring rate and left them scrambling for a competitive total after losing the toss. After the Board of Control for Cricket in India changed the pitch for their semi-final against New Zealand against the wishes of ICC’s independent pitch consultant, there was some suggestion that the tired track was put forward with an eye to aiding the home side’s spinners. True or false, it now looks obvious that a fresh pitch would have been a truer spectacle and a better fit for the hosts.
A whole bunch of regrets and, perhaps, a few lessons. The reigning champions of 2019 arrived among the favourites but saw their defence go down with a whimper after six defeats from their first seven games. Director of cricket Rob Key admitted that his own emphasis on Test cricket had left the ODI group under-prepared but the clearest problem was the fact that so many of the side were older, creakier